Patricia Kopatchinskaja © Eric Melzer
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Patricia Kopatchinskaja © Eric Melzer
Symphony Concert 11
Berlin Philharmonic | Kirill Petrenko | Patricia Kopatchinskaja
At the beginning of the 1920s, Arnold Schoenberg invented his twelve-tone system, convinced that he had thus “ensured the supremacy of German music for the next hundred years.” But the Germans showed poor gratitude in return. When the Nazis seized power in 1933, they drove the Viennese composer, who was at the time a professor teaching in Berlin, into American exile. He wrote his Violin Concerto there, following the rules of twelve-tone technique, but that was not so important to Schoenberg. The composer was more interested in profound feelings, in the “circulatory and nervous systems” of his music. Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Kirill Petrenko take him at his word. They perform a “sparkling and seductive” Schoenberg, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung put it, such that the piece “becomes a relative of the palatable Tchaikovsky Concerto.” In the second part, the Berlin Philharmonic offers Tchaikovsky himself, in the form of the Fifth Symphony, which once again finds the composer struggling against the power of fate – this time, even with a happy ending. But Tchaikovsky had not yet spoken his final word as a symphonist …
Berliner Philharmoniker | Kirill Petrenko © Monika Rittershaus
In 1882 a group of 54 ambitious musicians in Berlin formed an orchestra to perform concerts under their own aegis, thus giving birth to the Berlin Philharmonic. As their leader they chose Hans von Bülow, one of the finest conductors of the era, who laid the foundations for the Philharmonic’s culture of distinguished playing. His successors have included Arthur Nikisch (1895–1922), Wilhelm Furt-wängler (1922–54), and Herbert von Karajan (1955–89), all of whom developed the signature Berlin sound. It was in the Karajan era that the Berlin Philharmonic attained worldwide fame through its tours and many prize-winning recordings. Since October 1963 the Philharmonic’s home has been the Philharmonie in Berlin, a 2,400-seat concert hall designed by Hans Scharoun. After Karajan’s death in 1989, the players elected Claudio Abbado as their leader. He expanded the repertoire to include contemporary works and introduced program cycles focusing on specific themes. Sir Simon Rattle stood at the helm from 2002 until the summer 2018, performing music from the Baroque to the present. Kirill Petrenko will become his successor in the summer of 2019 but is already conducting the Philharmonic in the current season. The orchestra, which celebrates its 60th anniversary at LUCERNE FESTIVAL this summer, has been forging new paths into the future through its award-winning education program as well as the Digital Concert Hall, which launched in 2009 and which streams many concerts on the Internet. Since 2014 the ensemble has been releasing CDs and DVDs on its in-house Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings label. Once a year, the musicians also perform as an opera orchestra as part of their Easter Festival, which has been taking place in Baden-
Baden since 2013. In 2018 the Berlin Philharmonic performed Wagner’s Parsifal there, and for 2019 they have programmed Verdi’s Otello.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) on 30 August 1958 playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the direction of Herbert von Karajan.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.berliner-philharmoniker.de
July 2018Other dates
Kirill Petrenko © Kai Bienert
Kirill Petrenko begins his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in the 2019-20 season. Born in 1972 in Omsk in western Siberia to a violinist father and a musicologist mother, he performed as a pianist with the symphony orchestra of his native city when he was only eleven. In 1990 the family resettled in Vorarlberg, Austria, where he undertook formal music studies at the Vorarlberg Conservatory in Feldkirch, completing them with honors at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, in 1995. Soon after, he was engaged as Kapellmeister at the Vienna Volksoper; in 1997 he became General Music Director at the Meiningen Theater, earning great attention there with a production of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, each of whose parts was premiered on four successive nights. From 2002 to 2007, Petrenko served as General Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin, and since 2013 he has held the same post at the Bavarian Staatsoper, where he will present new productions of Verdi’s Otello and Strauss’s Salome in the 2019–20 season. Petrenko has appeared as a guest conductor at such internationally renowned companies as the Vienna Staatsoper, the Dresden Semperoper, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Royal Opera in London, the Opéra national de Paris, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He conducted the Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festival from 2013 to 2015. In the concert hall, Petrenko has partnered with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Berlin and Dresden Staatskapelle, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London and Israel Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He was chosen by both the critics of the magazine Opernwelt and the International Opera Award jury as Conductor of the Year in 2014.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 2016, when Petrenko conducted the Bavarian Staatsorchester in a Wagner-Strauss program.
July 2018Other dates
Patricia Kopatchinskaja © Julia Wesely
The violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja is Lucerne’s 2017 Summer Festival “artiste étoile.” Born in 1977 in Chişinău in the Republic of Moldova, she comes from a musical family – her mother also plays violin and her father performs on the cimbalom. In 1989 the family emigrated to Vienna, where the 17-year-old Kopatchinskaja began her studies at the Music University; four years later she transferred to the University of the Arts in Bern, where she completed her studies with Igor Ozim. She became known in professional circles through her victory at the International Szeryng Competition (2000), and in 2002 she won the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award. Today Patricia Kopatchinskaja works with leading orchestras and generates a buzz through her unusual, often radical performances. Equally at home in early music, the Romantic repertoire, and modern music, she is also an animated chamber musician and creates staged concerts. In the 2016-17 season she served as artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus in Berlin and at London’s Wigmore Hall. She performed Ligeti’s Violin Concerto with the Filarmonica della Scala, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Helsinki Philharmonic and Prokofiev’s Second with the London Philharmonic; together with the Russian ensemble musicAeterna and Teodor Currentzis, she toured Europa, playing Berg and Mozart. In 2018 she will take on the role of Music Director of the Ojai Festival in California. Kopatchinskaja’s recordings have won the Echo Klassik Award (2009 and 2013), the International Classical Music Award, the Prix Caecilia, and Gramophone magazine’s Recording of the Year Award. Her most recent releases include the violin concertos of Schumann (conducted by Heinz Holliger) and Tchaikovsky (with Currentzis) as well as the album Death and the Maiden, featuring works by composers from Dowland to Kurtág.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 2002 playing the Sibelius Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Mariss Jansons.
May 2017Other dates